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ECO: My Next Early Access Adventure

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I’ve decided that I’m definitely excited for ECO to come out. ECO is officially hitting Steam in beta on February 6th, where you can already learn lots about the game or hit up their official ECO website.

Several of us on the K&G Discord as eager to get our hands on the game and boot up a community server where we encourage co-op and community play while protecting against the annoyances of open servers. Definitely leave a comment here or join us in Discord to get in.

For the uninitiated, I’ll just copy and paste right from their Steam page.

ECO is a fully simulated ecosystem, bustling with life. Build, harvest, and take resources from an environment where your every action affects the world around you. An approaching meteor threatens global destruction.

Construct buildings and towns, tend to your farm, hunt and fish, develop infrastructure and transportation, craft clothing, build power plants, and research new technologies. Trade and sell these materials and resources to other players with your own currencies. Develop your civilization and sculpt your planet.

Analyze data from your world and use it to propose laws restricting harmful activities. Balance your needs with the needs of community, all while maintaining the state of the ecosystem. The future of your world is in your hands.

Sounds like fun, right?

I’m particularly interested in the implications of the ecosystem and how that impacts player governance of the planet. You guys know me — I’m a super community nerd. I’m all about how player interactions with each other shape the social landscape. That’s unpredictability and participatory change made games like SWG and UO so much fun.

You can check out ECO’s development roadmap for what’s coming before beta, after, and much later. There’s a lot of stuff in there that leads me to believe this will be a great game to dive into for a few months, then revisit regularly much the way we do in Minecraft.

I’m also really excited about the player modding support that’s going to be present nearly right away. I think the players will really be able to take ECO and expand on it to create entirely new gameplay experiences. I’m hoping for some mods that introduce strong PvE elements.

If you’re not intrigued by the idea of an impending asteroid, K&G Discord regular and ECO enthusiast Gringar found this gem on Facebook from an alpha player:  “Within the server there are more in-depth settings to control skillpoint gain and time progression and those sorts of things that would help balance the game for solo play. You can even disable the meteor if you want to play ‘peaceful’ mode (but then you’d miss out on that chunk of content). Hope that helps!”

Lots to be excited about! I think this will be a really fun game, and hopefully a pleasant early access adventure for us.

  • It’s been so obvious this is my #1 most anticipated game right now. It’s almost all I talk about 🙂 I’m definitely ready for the community server.

  • I saw it at PAX and it immediately captured my interest. I find it’s a good policy to restrict hype levels for games of this genre though. They are extremely easy to make sound enticing and correspondingly difficult to pull off in a satisfying way. On Steam, the ratio between successful and complete open world scavenge and crafting type games and games of that type that are half finished and abandoned has got to be about 1:1000. Hoping for the best though.

    • I’ve been keeping an eye on this game since early alpha. I’ve been wary too for the same reason… I don’t think anyone can count the games on Steam that feature a guy holding a pickaxe standing in a voxel world.

      These guys are operating on a grant from the Department of Education though. Their game is intended to have that high a level of nature simulation. I believe, that when you are working on a grant from the DoE, your game better be more than vaporware 🙂

      Most of their posts are also showing off features that they’ve promised, actually making it into the game. That’s helped me get hyped too.

  • I would definitely be up for this! Hopefully it is one of the ‘diamonds in the rough’ sort of things when it comes to the ‘open-world survival’ genre.